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Let the Patient Tell Their Story
Often when a patient presents with an injury, they want to tell their story. People by nature like to talk about themselves, particularly when they're worried about their health.
A Healthy Dose of Failure is Vital to Your Success
As an acupuncturist I tend to see people after they have already suffered for years and "tried everything." They are so desperate for some relief that they want to know everything about how to get better, right now.
The Problem With Prolonged Sitting
We need to constantly talk to our patients about spending less time sitting and about what can go wrong with poor sitting postures. The fact is we sit too long in repetitive malpositions.
Thoracolumbar Syndrome: The Great Mimic
The thoracolumbar junction is a common area of joint dysfunction. The most obvious cause is dysfunctional breathing or lack of diaphragmatic breathing. Treating this breathing problem will ultimately be the long-term cure for the syndrome.
News in Brief
NBCE Launches Computer-Based Testing Era; California Chiropractors Get Expanded DOT Exam Privileges; New Jeff Hays Documentary.
The Spirit of the Point
After receiving a large amount of positive feedback on my San Zhen Protocols series, I have decided to focus this article on some relevant clinical aspects of acupuncture therapy prior to moving on to San Zhen Protocols III.
MPA Media Wins Seven Publishing Awards
MPA Media, publisher of Acupuncture Today, among other titles, has been recognized for editorial and design excellence with an unprecendented seven publishing awards by the ASBPE, the nation's largest organization for business-to-business publications.
Uncle Sam Needs You
Scrutiny into the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) continues to grow after efforts to reform the DVA by the former Secretary of Veterans Affairs, Eric Shinseki, were deemed "a stunning period of dysfunction" by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
Healing Community Trauma in Israel and Palestine
It's the beginning of August and Israel and Hamas have just agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire after a month of brutal fighting. In the last four weeks, 1,830 Palestinians and 67 Israelis have been killed.
Rethinking GMO: Less Panic, More Context
Some of you may have noticed that after writing parts 1 and 2 of “Genetic Modification of Organisms for Human Consumption” a while back [Nov. 15, 2013 and Jan. 1, 2014 issues], part 3 never appeared.
When Big Pharma Meets Chinese Medicine
Earlier this year, Bayer made a media splash with their decision to buy the Dihon Pharmaceutical Group Co., a Chinese TCM manufacturer.
Get Ready For AOM Day
This year, AOM Day 2014 falls on Friday, (October 24th). This is a great opportunity to make your AOM Day celebration or event even bigger by extending it throughout the weekend!
The Truth About Herbs
I appreciate the effort and research put into the article written in the June issue of Acupuncture Today regarding pesticides and Chinese herbs.
History of Animal Acupuncture: Part II
In Part I of this article, I had gone back to 1969 and tried to describe the atmosphere and events of that year that engulfed many of the younger generation, some who were all the core members of the National Acupuncture Association.
Thoughts to Live By
When speaking to your patients about their health make sure to ponder the following points and have them assess if they are making themselves even more sick by the thoughts they have about life. Are these some of the traits and thoughts that your patients might have?
The Science Behind Happiness
Are you happy right now? Whether yes or no, there are a myriad of reasons why you feel that way. A whole academic discipline has developed to find out what causes or obstructs happiness, and how to amplify it.
If You Get a Request for Records, Respond!
In our previous two articles, we discussed two of the main reasons for denial when chiropractic records are reviewed by Medicare contractors.
Improving Our Political Effectiveness
The November 2014 elections are right around the corner; members of Congress, governors and state legislators are all running. Now is a good time to talk frankly about our overall political involvement.
Help Secure Our Future by Sharing It
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) conducts one of the most comprehensive surveys of the U.S. chiropractic profession every 4-5 years.
A Commonly Missed Spinal Fixation: The Upper Lumbar Spine (Part 1)
When we think of lower back pain, we tend to think in terms of the lower lumbar spine and the SI joint. These joints and their discs are obviously important. However, we tend to miss fixations that occur just above – in the upper lumbar spine. Three questions come to mind: 1) Why is the upper lumbar spine so important? 2) Why do we miss the fixations here? 3) How can we adjust them?
Medicalization and Mindfulness
The past several years have seen a veritable explosion of research on mindfulness. Research abstracts we've published in each issue of Health Insights Today under the heading "Mind-Body News" have increasingly reported on studies about mindfulness interventions.
A Glimpse Into China's Top Brain Hospital
The sounds of the city pass through the open window are overwhelming the microphone - car horns, construction machinery - and then there's the family at the adjacent bed talking loudly on cell phones, yet you can still hear the faint beep of our patients monitoring equipment.
April, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 04
Who Knew Massage & Qi Gong Had So Much in Common?
By Suzanne Friedman, LAc
The Yellow Emperor's Inner Canon (Neijing) was compiled in 200 BC, and it is still considered the bible of Chinese medicine today. The Neijing discusses four major healing modalities: acupuncture, pharmacology (herbs), massage and qi gong. Qi gong was then called dao yin, which translates as "guiding and pulling" but is sometimes called "gymnastics" in translated texts. Early Chinese medicine and Daoist texts frequently grouped massage and qi gong together as the two most powerful methods of self-healing. Qi gong became an official part of Chinese court medicine by the Tang dynasty, and it is likely that massage therapists were already part of court medicine before that time. In the Tang dynasty, the Office of Medicine employed two massage specialists.
Massage and qi gong are two complementary approaches to bodywork. It is said that qi gong balances the energy, blood and body fluid flow from the inside, and massage strengthens the flow from the outside. Qi gong uses intention and particular body movements to guide the qi in healthy directions, while the physical pressure and body manipulation of massage help to do so from the outside. Daoist masters and early Chinese medicine doctors saw the value of this internal-external approach to balance the body and harmonize the interior and exterior.
Early medical texts from the Daoist canon recommended massage and qi gong, particularly for muscle tension, locomotive and circulation issues, digestive disorders and psychosomatic disorders. Self-massage developed as a means of self-treatment and as warm-up exercises for meditation and qi gong practice, while professional massage therapists were still consulted when treatment was required.
Massage techniques became an integral part of qi gong practice early on. Self-massage warms the body, which stimulates the flow of blood and body fluids. Any qi gong practice that follows is said to be more powerful after circulation has been stimulated in this manner. The physical stimulation of massage will also help the practitioner to feel, and ultimately guide, the qi flow in the body. When you begin a qi gong practice, you start by visualizing the movement of qi until you can feel the flow of qi in your body. Once you can feel the flow of qi, you can then guide it. Thus, massage is a key technique to enhance and accelerate your ability to cultivate and circulate your energy. Likewise, self-massage techniques can loosen tight or stiff muscles that arise from our mostly sedentary lifestyle. If you do not rub or stretch these areas before qi gong exercises, you run the risk of injuring yourself.
Self-massage is also one of the best "quick pick me up" techniques out there. An exercise I like to do when I am feeling worn out or tired is called "Washing the Face." It obviously stimulates the flow of energy in the face, but it is important to remember that many of the yang acupuncture channels that ultimately connect to the brain are also stimulated when you rub your face. When you stimulate these channels, you are also stimulating the energy flow along these channels, which run from the arms to the head, down to the feet, or up to the crown of the head. Thus, your whole body will feel the increase in energy flow.
To practice Washing the Face, begin by placing the pads of your middle fingers on both sides of your nose, on either side of the nostrils. Inhale, and push all the pads of your fingers in and up as you push your hands up towards your scalp, putting pressure on your face wherever your fingers pass. When you exhale, rub your hands down your face to the starting position. I like to take a slow, deep inhale as I rub my hands up, and then do a quick forceful exhale as I bring my hands back down; almost like sneezing! If you repeat this exercise at least nine times, you will definitely feel more invigorated and energized.
While Chinese medicine schools in America now focus primarily on acupuncture and herbology, there is an increasing interest in Chinese medicine bodywork, as evidenced by the many AOBTA-approved Asian bodywork programs being offered by Chinese medicine schools.
The beauty of massage and qi gong is that you can either go to a professional for a treatment, or you can give yourself a treatment. You don't need any special equipment or tools, and you can practice anywhere or anytime you wish. As in the saying "healer, heal thyself," self-massage and qi gong are two ways to keep us strong, healthy and present for our clients and patients.
Dr. Suzanne Friedman is an acupuncturist, herbalist & doctor of medical qigong therapy. She is the Chair of the Medical Qigong Department at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, Calif., where she runs the Medical Qigong Anmo Asian Bodywork Certification program. Her new book, Heal Yourself with Qi Gong, will be released in the spring of 2009.
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